A candid and personal examination of the Philippine comics scene from a social, cultural, economic and business point of view.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

PKB Directory of newsstand comics dealers 2008

If you are into expensive, imported comics as a personal hobby, or see comics as an “artform” reserved only for the visual appreciation of the moneyed elite, who give shallow importance on the flashy, inconsequential outward appearance of a CBG graded comic book such as, but not limited to, its glossy, shiny paper surface, its well-known foreign writers and artists, and its being printed in the U.S., Canada or Hong Kong, with strong, speculative re-sale value, that needs to be encased in plastic, mummified and kept under wraps for thousands of years, then this is not for you. There is nothing to see here. Please move on.

On the other hand if you are among the inquisitive, maligned few, harboring the much besmirched and disparaged idea of helping build a new local mainstream comics industry starting at the grassroots level of low income Filipino readers as base, a readership that is mocked by imported comics elitist-enthusiasts as “cheap”, non-existent and living only in Mars or Jupiter, then this may be of help.

You say you want to know more about the mass market? You want to talk directly to newsstand dealers and get more information on the matter? You say you want to graduate from the insular and enclosed, small world of expensive Pinoy “mini-comics” or “photocopy comics”, and find out if there’s some money to be made as an independent comics publisher in the local mass market?

Most may find this hard to believe, but there are many “bangketa” newsstand dealers out there who want to sell Tagalog/Pilipino comic books other than those of Sterling/Caparas but still priced within the “cheap” Php 15.00 range. If the product is even better, they may even consider a price range not going beyond Php 35.00 to match the standard comics sized “songhits” magazines on their stands.

Some of these dealers currently operate on an arrangement where they make an outright purchase of your title in bulk at a discount rate less cover price. The remainder of course, is their profit or “patong” (or, as the ZTE dealmakers would say: “tong-pats”). The number of unsold copies are then sent back to the publisher and are later exchanged/reimbursed by an equal number of new issues. Who are these dealers specifically? You’ll have to call, ask and negotiate to find out. They are not on any internet komiks blog or chat room, so a certain amount of legwork is involved. If a deal is closed, it is either the dealers who come to the publisher’s Manila office to pick up and purchase your title, or a common drop-off and pick-up point is fixed for the convenience of the parties, usually at the Port Area, Manila, where most of the country’s broadsheet and tabloid newspapers are housed.

If you have a small print run of 5,000 to 10,000 copies some of these dealers are willing to take you on, and may even consider subsidizing a portion of the printing costs depending on the feasibility of your business plan, arrangement or proposition. Your distribution need not be broad or national in scope at first. They suggest that you choose only a few trusted and competent distributor-partners and limit your areas of distribution for a start. Gradually expand from there if economies of scale improve. Remember that the first modern Filipino comic book, “Halakhak” published a few months after the war in 1946 by the late Atty. Jaime Lucas, started at only 10,000 copies. Its follow-up: Don Ramon Roces’ long-running “Pilipino Komiks”, also started on that same print run of 10,000 newsprint copies when it began in 1947 climbing to 120,000 every fortnight in 1961 and to about 600,000 copies a week in 1978.

This is probably the one good thing brought about by the Sterling/Caparas venture into mass market local comics publishing. In their approximately more than six (6) months of operation since September, 2007, almost all newsstand dealers in the country are now open to the idea that the printed medium of local Pilipino comics could stage a comeback.

What is sorely needed however, is variety. At present, the choices are limited only to the retro themed titles of Sterling/Caparas. Thousands, if not millions, of potential local mass market comics readers have varied and diverse tastes and preferences. We are talking of an untapped fifty (50) MILLION adult readership aged 14 to 50 who are mostly low income. That is a self-evident fact. The pie is so big, there’s more than enough room for everyone. To service that demand, there must exist a plethora of separate and independent comics publishers who have diverse editorial viewpoints operating in a free, competitive and fair market. Sterling/Caparas is the only player right now and it has its own audience. What about the rest? Are their reading tastes and preferences being serviced?

The following list is admittedly incomplete. There are more who need to be known and listed. Neither is this a guarantee that all of these dealers play fair. You’ll have to find that out for yourself and if you’re kind enough, please share the information for mutual and future reference. Quid pro quo, bro.

Happy easter.


Alfredo R. Pascua --- Baclaran---433 4891

Ermilando P. Galos --- Quiapo, Manila --- 704 5301 - 0905 324 4955

Errol V. Felices --- Manila --- 0915 976 850

Felicidad Lising --- Manila --- 733 4169- 533 3479

Raul S. Echano --- Manila --- 0905 324 6789

Marvic Lumayno --- Paco, Manila--- 0921 966 4267

Ernesto Jaudian Jr. --- 0916 411 1142

Dennis Capitan --- 0920 918 0908

Albert Solidarios Jr.--- 0921 640 1249- (034) 433 1138


Rommel P. Landas --- Las Pinas --- 0917 917 6662 - 875 1616

Ferdinand Manzano --- Paranaque/ Alabang --- 519 4060


Sofia P. Inay --- Pasay City --- 854 72 70

Romulo Maboy --- Pasay City--- 851 3420


Clemencia Sibayan --- Mandaluyong City --- 535 43 80

Regina Sibayan --- Mandaluyong City --- 415 3790


Juanito P. Corra --- Quezon City --- 412 8596

Wilfredo Sarsonas --- Quezon City --- 749 7169

Romeo Bule --- Quezon City --- 350 2039

Eduardo Maceda Jr. --- Quezon City --- 415 3790

Carlito Corro --- Quezon City --- 415 37 90

Rhodora R. De Vera --- Quezon City --- 0920 254 8384

Ben Tabiana --- Quezon City --- 0926 751 0842


Neil R. Bautista --- Santiago City, Isabela --- (078) 682 1025 - 0906 927 4023

Cesar Caburian --- Ilocos Sur --- (072) 888 1512

Jane Caburian --- La Union --- (072) 705 1435

Lerma Carillo --- Agoo, La Union --- 0917 564 2800

Julie/ Carlos Catbagan --- Pangasinan --- 0918 639 8014

Allan V. Quitoriano --- Pangasinan --- 0928 253 0226

Concepcion V. Dungca --- Tarlac, Pangasinan --- 0917 453 4668

Edmundo S. Ordinario --- Villasis, Pangasinan--- 0921 484 8488

Leo S. Ordinario --- Rosales, Pangasinan --- (075) 582 3378

Virgie Lumayno --- Antipolo City--- 0921 966 4267

Dominador Lubian --- Cavite --- 853 6374


Atty. Raymund J. A. Mercado & Marylou Mercado --- Dumaguete City---(035) 225 5079 – (035) 225 5796

Mr. Ferdinand & Mrs. Alma T. Mercado ---Tagbilaran City, Bohol --0918 927 1090 Alma cel.

Henry Velasco --- Bacolod City --- 443 4891

Mr.& Mrs. Bernardo S. Cruz --- Samar, Leyte --- 0916 791 5366 - 0916 228 5505

Pedro C. Ruina --- Surigao City --- 0919 583 0108- (086) 232 6955

Eduardo V. Clavero --- Pagadian City --- 0918 331 1111 – (062) 214 4444

Ma. Theresa Ybanez --- Cebu City --- 0917 546 7285 – (032) 255 6504

Ma. Cecilia V. Yap --- Cebu City --- (032) 234 4583

Hansen Dongallo --- Cebu City --- 0915 847 9384 - (032) 421 31 78

Edmund Enriquez --- Cebu City --- (032) 412 1035)

Gerry Agcaoili --- Cebu City --- 0910 670 3932

Jorge R. Villanueva --- Cebu City --- (032) 416 1717 - 0926 200 5122


Rico Onate --- Davao City --- 0920 921 0703

Marivic S. Gan --- Davao City --- 0917 705 5174

Thelma D. Peralta --- Cotabato City --- 0905 933 0087

Catalina T. Boro --- Cotabato City --- 0920 340 0941

Pete Marquez --- Cotabato City --- (064) 421 3264

Kristel Dimalanta --- General Santos City --- 0919 553 9888


Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is possibly the best, most truly helpful post you have made on this blog. thank you for it!

now if only you guys could get past your prejudice against "pa-class" comics.

ikaw na mismo'ng nagsabi:

"The pie is so big, there’s more than enough room for everyone. To service that demand, there must exist a plethora of separate and independent comics publishers who have diverse editorial viewpoints operating in a free, competitive and fair market."

surely you wouldn't contradict yourself?

4:14 AM

Blogger aklas isip said...

Contradict... myself? Don't exactly know what you mean there, effendi :) Let me hazard a guess though:

If some people get off doing globalized Filipino comics and keep on bandying on the internet that their thing is God's next big gift to local comics reading culture since pandesal, then let them prove it...in the mass market where the real audience, and action is.

Many would really like to see if the globalists can live up to their hype.

Many may criticize the globalists, this blog is among them, but these critics sure as hell don't censor or truncate the globalists when they pine, rant and hype.

Many say: "Put up or shut up. Transfer to the real arena: Prove yourself first in your country, before the globe." You won't get anything from the now shrunk upper and middle income class. Want to do English or Americanized/Anime' comics in the BIG low income market? Go ahead. Reality is always the best teacher, though. Many are confident that the globalists may later question their premises beliefs and concepts as to what REALLY sells in the mass market.

How do you get your resources? How do you budget? Where do you get your people with less ego? How do you negotiate? How do you maximize on limited resources? How do you get a target audience? How long do yo keep their interest? These are real world publishing problems and they're not trivia.

Time for everybody to grow up, I guess.

5:57 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

you seem to have gone off on a tangent there. but i congratulate you on publishing dissenting comments.

the following is what i mean by you contradicting yourself/selves:

"The pie is so big, there’s more than enough room for everyone..."

do you mean EVERYONE everyone? because "everyone" would include AB comics. if you DON"T mean to include AB comics, you are contradicting yourself.

"...To service that demand, there must exist a plethora of separate and independent comics publishers who have diverse editorial viewpoints..."

following this train of thought, an independent comics publisher w/ a "high clas" editorial viewpoint would also qualify as something that "must exist". it also has a right to exist. if you say they don't, then you are contradictng yourself.

"...operating in a free, competitive and fair market."

a free, competitive and fair market is an open one. and that means people are free to create, publish and sell what they want. if you say otherwise, you are contradicting yourself.

7:40 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

napatingin pa ako sa wikipedia ng "effendi" ah :)

7:42 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aklas Isip,

At last you are making sense. There's no need to antagonize the exponents of Pa-Class Globalized comics. In a Capitalist Society, everybody is welcome to showcase his commodity. If the Masa Komiks pans out, well & good, if the Globalized Comics makes a killing abroad, you should be proud, after all, both of them contributes to the GDP of the nation.
BTW, props to you, for listing those distributors....

10:29 PM

Blogger aklas isip said...


Congratulate moi on publishing dissenting comments? Been doing it ever since, sahib. If you care to check the previous posts you'll see what this blogger means, especially the MOTHER of them all: "Fan Mail from the Globalized Komikeros" What a bestseller that was. :)

It appears that most of the thoughts on this blog have been adapted by a good number of people out there, even going so far as "modifying" and watering it down to suit their views and using it against contrarian viewpoints. Can't control what they think or do, but God help them.

Anyway, what was written is plain. What you quoted was clear. No contradiction. It means everyone, including the AB "pa-class" globalized Filipino comics of today.

BUT just because a statement is made that everyone (even the AB pa-class globalized comics) can "compete" in a free, fair and competitive market, does NOT mean this blogger (or other people for that matter) has to like, or approve of what they're doing. Just because they have a right to exist does not mean that what they do is automatically right. Other people have a right to criticize. The globalists should get down their pedestel and stop having a closed mind.

Its just not this blogger. A lot of people are really put off right now about what the globalists keep bragging that their kind of comics are superior and of better quality because its in English, look U.S./Japanese Anime' and expensive. Its bull. Most of their works are rip-offs and boring. They haven't even made a market in their now shrunk AB audience. For 15 years since 1992, they've failed.

And they're still bragging. Still continuing with the hype. So, to make them shut up, let them sell their kind of globalized comics in the low income MASS MARKET.

Can they sell their precious "works of art" at Php 15.00? Php 25.00? And still maintain their high standard of subjective "quality"? Can they maintain it for long? That's what's meant.

Everyone, including their hypocritical "pa-class" comics are invited to compete in the real market right now: the low income MASS MARKET. How can their kind of comics succeed in the "world" when here in their very own country, they're not even a success? Many low-income (even the AB crowd) people don't even know what their works are. There's no following.

There's another reason for allowing globalized Filipino rip-offs of original foreign works to compete in the MASS MARKET. And that is: to make the really good, original, affordable and FILIPINO comics stand out. You need that contrast to see the difference.

This blogger now steps down from the soapbox.

Oh, and by the way: why are you using an "anonymous" tag? Are you real or did I just make you up? Didn't I just write to myself? How sad.

Don't you know that "anonymous" posters are terrible writers who formulate dumb questions (answers and essays)? Because these "anonymous' cretins don't reveal themselves, they're perpetually in the dark and stumble often.

What is it these days about anonymous writers, anyway? If you ask me, they should be barred forever and deleted!

6:46 PM

Blogger aklas isip said...

To the other anonymous:

"There's no need to antagonize the exponents of Pa-Class Globalized comics. In a Capitalist Society, everybody is welcome to showcase his commodity."

Wrong. In a capitalist FREE society, you have a right to speak out your mind and if need be, antagonize within bounds what you see is wrong. I think its called free speech? If other people have a right to showcase trash and price it at Php 50 to Php 100, don't you think other people who have been gypped and ripped-off by their works have a right to throw their trash right back at them?

"if the Globalized Comics makes a killing abroad, you should be proud"

Wha? Like what title for example? A globalized Filipino comic making a "killing" abroad? Why can't they make a killing here in the Philippines? Why can't they make a killing in the local mass market? Not enough money because the price is cheap? What are they really after? Money or "Love"?

6:57 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can raise hell until it freezes over, but unfortunately for you, you are not the one calling the shots...

It isthe Market Forces, who will decide whether the global comics will pan out or the masa komiks, will make a killing...

BTW, you seem to have a chip over your shoulder aginst the peti-burgis, any explanations? a trauma in the past perhaps? would you mind sharing it with your readers?

8:04 PM

Blogger aklas isip said...

Damn right this blogger isn’t calling the shots. Absolutely on the mark that its the market who’s going to decide things around here.

And what has the local market been saying since 1992 about these small print-run, yet expensive P100-P75-P50, globalized Filipino comics that are essentially rip-offs of American mainstream comics, fantasy movies and Japanese cartoons? Has a local comics industry been created in this now shrunk, upper to middle income AB market? We look around us and observe that there is none.

Do we see any of their titles having average print-runs of at least 60,000 to 100,000 a month (or a week)? None. Do we see advertisers rushing to have ad placements on their pages and not “x-deals”? None. Has there been a plethora of licensed products spawned from the pages of these globalized masterpieces? None. Have these kinds of comics been appearing regularly? Are you kidding me?

Is the AB market still buying those expensive and imported U.S. mainstream comics/graphic novels and English-translated Japanese mangas at Comic Quest, Filbar’s, Comic Odyssey, Power Books and Fully Booked? Bet your fanny they still do.

And yet, you say that the market still has to decide on who’s going to make a killing? Heavens to mergatroid. Get real. There is NO globalized Filipino comics industry in the local AB market. Period. If anything, this cross-breed has remained what it has always been: a perpetually stunted small press. It is not an industry by a long shot. It’s marginalized, elitist, and trying to compensate its shortcomings by hiding behind the phrase: “arform” (pronounced “aht-foam”).

But enough about the local market. What about the foreign market? What specific titles of globalized Filipino comics have taken, been taking, or currently taking, the international market by storm? Lastik Man? Darna, the Golden Anniversary? Trese? After Eden? Questor Extreme? Mangaholix? Mango Jam? Have these “pa-class” graphic novels already made a “killing” in the millions in the international market like Lea Salonga or Manny Pacquiao? Really? Are a great and growing number of foreign readers going ga-ga over these works? Why haven’t we heard from these kinds of globalized comics making a “killing” abroad, anyway? Why haven’t we seen them advertised in the latest U.S. issues of Diamond Distribution’s “Previews” catalog? How much did these titles earn? Who are the players? Could it be that the market forces in these still vague “foreign countries” have also decided to give the thumbs down on these works? Many seem to think so.

Then again, assuming without admitting, that globalized Filipino comics are indeed “killing” the foreign market, in what sense would they still be considered “Filipino”? Put another way, since these kinds of comics would necessarily be customized to meet the tastes and preferences of a foreign culture and audience say in the United States, Canada or Japan, in what sense would the end product still be considered “Filipino”? Obviously, there would be no such thing. It would ultimately be a foreign comic made by Filipinos: a “globalized” Filipino comic.

But more importantly, whose comics industry is really benefited from all this flurry of activity for a lucrative foreign audience? The Philippines? Do we create a local comics reading culture in our country by making comics to be ultimately sold, read and appreciated abroad by foreigners? Of course not.

All these are self-evident. This blog did not make these things up. This blog isn't "calling the shots". Its what’s happening in the real world. If you think the observation above is “raising hell”, or falsified and brilliantly contorted by this blogger in order to “call the shots”, then brother, whatever gets you through the night. The shots and comments on real world happenings will just keep on coming. People want to cry foul? Don’t shoot the messenger. Blame the world. Blame yourselves.

BTW, how come globalized Filipino comics creators seem to have a chip over their shoulder whenever these FACTS are transmitted to their Masonic orbiting satellite headquarters in outer space? Any explanations? A trauma in the past perhaps? Would they mind sharing it with us down here in the Philippine islands?

1:04 PM

Blogger aklas isip said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1:10 PM


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